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Surgeon sued for not removing woman’s entire appendix

Doctors in Providence and throughout the rest of the U.S. are called upon daily to exercise their expertise and judgment in making fast decisions in attempts to save the lives of their patients. While some degree of allowance may be given in such circumstances, there are still basic standards of care in place that healthcare providers are expected to follow in nearly every medical and surgical encounter. A failure to do may easily be seen as doctor negligence by the patients who surrender themselves to those judgments.

This very scenario is at the heart of a medical malpractice lawsuit currently being argued in North Carolina. A woman is suing the surgeon who performed her emergency appendectomy for not completely removing the organ during the procedure. The original procedure was done after she presented at the emergency department on Christmas Eve in 2009 for abdominal pain. Later, she was seen by another provider because of the same symptoms. It was discovered that nearly a third of her appendix hadn’t been removed. The surgeon explained his actions by saying that a portion of the woman’s appendix was hidden behind her colon. Yet another surgeon testifying on the woman’s behalf stated that the standard of care was to remove all of the appendix down to only a 5mm portion, and that general surgeons should be trained on how to do so even when it’s view is obstructed by another organ. 

While some may think that providers like the one in this case should be given some leeway in emergency situations, the consequences that patients are forced to endure often require that they seek compensation. Those looking to do so may wish to have the services of an attorney at their disposal during this process.

Source: Burlington Times News “Testimony begins in medical malpractice case” Michael D. Abernathy, Dec. 08, 2014

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